Iowa updates 511 journey app

Visitors strikes alongside southbound Interstate 380 on Wednesday on the Interstate 80 interchange in Coralville. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Among the many new options of Iowa’s up to date 511 app is the power to have a look at “close by occasion” that might affect journey, like highway building or crashes. (Iowa Division of Transportation)

The up to date 511 journey app additionally permits drivers to obtain hands-free, eyes-free, audio bulletins of upcoming site visitors or building issues. (Iowa Division of Transportation)

The up to date 511 journey app from the Iowa Division of Transportation goals to make driving simpler and safer throughout the building and winter seasons.

The app — free on for Apple and Android gadgets — was updated in early October with new features and a user-friendly interface. The brand new design matches the 511 web site for a constant consumer expertise, stated Sinclair Stolle, Iowa DOT’s site visitors administration techniques engineer.

The options, Stolle stated, might help drivers make “that knowledgeable resolution for safer and extra environment friendly travels.”

“Know earlier than you go,” Stolle stated, which is the 511 tagline.

New options

Among the many app’s new options is the power to have a look at “close by occasions” that might affect journey, akin to building and crashes.

The journey planner instrument helps drivers map their route with journey instances, highway situations and alternate routes. Customers can save their routes.

Customers can also activate climate radar and climate station alerts — a function that can be useful heading into winter, Stolle stated. .

Drivers can take a look at snowplow progress and highway situations to see if it’s secure to go away instantly or wait till situations enhance, Stolle stated.

The app additionally provides views from site visitors cameras alongside main routes.

“Actually examine the roads earlier than you go and take a look at the highway situations,” Stolle stated. “An image’s price a thousand phrases — take a look at the cameras that we’ve.”


Options that carried over from the earlier model embody the power to activate and off layers that show info on the map. Layers embody unplanned site visitors occasions, building, relaxation areas and extra.

The layers may be turned on and off for a custom-made view, Stolle stated.

Customers even have the power to obtain hands-free, eyes-free audio bulletins of site visitors occasions as they’re driving.

The app will present a “information cone” and can share info as the driving force approaches a site visitors occasion, Stolle stated.

“Verify (the app) earlier than you head out on the highway or have a passenger do it,“ Stolle stated. ”We do not need to encourage any use of it when you’re truly driving except you set it within the ‘inform me’ mode.“

Different states have their very own 511 app by means of their DOTs, however Stolle stated she isn’t conscious of any plan to do a nationwide 511 app, which might be difficult, provided that states have totally different options on their apps.

“I do not assume there can be a nationwide branded 511 app, however I do see DOTs offering standardized knowledge to 3rd events for ingestion into their already present nationwide apps, like Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps,” Stolle stated.

There are efforts to standardize the information coming from state DOTs by means of the U.S. DOT’s work zone data exchange, which is able to assist with third-party integration of information nationwide. Stolle stated that effort is concentrated on highway building however may develop to unplanned occasions.


Drivers who use the identical route whereas commuting can join the app and save their route, Stolle stated.

After opening a 511 account, customers can entry their saved routes, site visitors cameras and different info on each the web site and the app, Stolle stated.

“Generally individuals discover it is simpler to save lots of routes on an even bigger display screen, so if you wish to try this, and it can save you it, then you can too entry it in your telephone,” Stolle stated.

It’s additionally attainable to join textual content or e mail alerts to reach at a sure time to get notifications of what’s occurring alongside the route, Stolle added. The alerts may be custom-made to cowl the development or unplanned occasions the driving force desires to learn about.

Industrial drivers

Industrial drivers who beforehand used the Iowa 511 Trucker app can also use the up to date 511 app. Options for industrial drivers have been added to the up to date app, and the Trucker app can be retired later this 12 months.

Industrial drivers simply have to faucet the “truck toggle” to view restrictions, truck parking info and weigh station areas.

To obtain the app, go to the Apple or Google Play shops. When you’ve got already downloaded the earlier Iowa 511 app, it can replace routinely.

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